A Hystery Festival.

An early overview of the forthcoming Stoke Ferry festival.

This year’s Stoke Ferry Festival will span three days. It will begin on the evening of Friday 21st with a performance by virtuoso violinist Steve Bingham. Steve lives in Feltwell and is very keen to share his music with local communities. Part of the concert will feature “Strings and Skins”, a collaboration between Steve and the Wissey Valley Arts Music Group. Steve will be working with the group in the lead up to the Festival to create an original piece of music for the performance. Steve will also be performing tracks from his solo CD Duplicity, demonstrating the wonders of loops, lap tops and electric Violins, as well as playing Bach to perfection.

Saturday 22nd will feature the legendary Sid Kipper, who has audiences rocking with laughter at his eccentric stories and satirical songs. Sid is a veteran of the folk festival circuit, and describes himself as “the rhinestone ploughboy”. From St Just near Trunch, Sid has his finger on the pulse of Norfolk village life. With a bit of luck even Stoke Ferry’s mysterious grumpy man might find this an amusing way of letting off steam.

Finally Sunday 23rd will run from 10am to 10pm with the centre of the village closed to traffic for a day of locally produced drama, art, music, food, drink, crafts, trade stands, clowns, story tellers, very bad jugglers and other games and activities.

Central to the 2007 Festival will be a “Hystery” play, generated by local people in collaboration with professional dramatists Jaqueline Mullhallen and William Alderson. The play will tell a story of an event from the village’s mediaeval past, and it is planned as the first of a series to be created by local people at weekly Wissey Valley Arts drama workshops in the village. The day will start with a mediaeval-style procession from James Bradfield School to the Market Hill led by the Hystery players, children from the school and the Mistrels Gallery mediaeval music group.

On arrival at the square the town crier will declare the festival open and people can eat, drink and have fun, with live music, an open-air cafe, an exhibition of paintings by local artists in All Saints Church, and stalls along the High Street and in the Millers Arms field. The day will be rounded off with a ceilidh on Market Hill (or in the church if it is wet).

After the success of last year’s Festival, one aim of the Stoke Ferry Festival 2007 is to show how much creativity there is in the local community, and to encourage more people to become involved in the future. The excitement need not be crammed into one day (or even three), but can be part of daily life in Stoke Ferry. Whatever you like, there will be something for you.

Festival Committee

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